I cannot recommend visiting this fabulous city in Northern Thailand enough. Everyone we came across in Bangkok were enthusiastic about Chiang Mai and it hasn’t disappointed at all! We flew up from Bangkok which was fairly cheap and only took an hour (saving ourselves a 9 hour bus ride).
One of the main reasons we chose to visit Chiang Mai was to see some elephants whilst being responsible tourists, a major bucket list activity for all of us – especially Rhianna! I would recommend the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary to anyone in a heartbeat as it was such an incredible day. The whole experience was so much fun and it was amazing to be around such majestic and elegant animals. Fun fact: elephants don’t have stomachs in their digestive systems so continually eat for around 20 hours a day! That’s a heck of a lot of food. For 2400 baht (around £55) we got picked up from the city centre and driven around an hour and a half south to the sanctuary. We were able to meet the elephants, feed them bananas, stroke them (the texture of their skin is tough but nothing like I expected) walk with them, watch them play in the river, then after lunch wash them and cover them in mud too! Here are some pictures:
After such an incredible day we headed back to Chiang Mai in the same pick up/jeep which gave us a stunning view of the jungle as we winded back down the hillside towards the city. We stumbled across a street food market which I deemed the Thai ‘Dinerama’ (street food place in London). We ate huge spring rolls, bao buns and ice cream rolls ups -yum! There were market stalls, great live music, twinkly lights and a great atmosphere. There was also a cocktail bus so we just had to sample its wares!
After dinner we walked round the corner to the night market and immediately heard more live music. Someone at the elephant sanctuary had recommended the Boy Blues bar here, nestled in the skies of the market. We followed the sound and there it was, a tiny bar filled with people lapping up the bluesy band. The music was great here and we stayed until just before closing to enjoy as much as we could.
Today we ventured out of the city again to the temple at Doi Suthep. This had beautiful views of the city as well as the temple being so beautiful too. There was so much gold and intricate detailing, and though there were many steps to climb to the top, it was definitely worth it.